Model Rule 5.1

Reporter's Explanation of Changes

TEXT:

1. Caption

The caption has been modified to reflect the applicability of paragraph (a) to lawyers who possess managerial authority comparable to that of a partner.

2. Paragraphs (a) and (c)(2): Modify to apply to lawyers with managerial authority comparable to that of partner

This change was made to clarify in the Rule text that paragraph (a) applies to managing lawyers in corporate and government legal departments and legal services organizations, as well as to partners in private law firms. No change in substance is intended.

COMMENT:

[1] A cross-reference to the definition of a law firm in Rule 1.0(c) has been added. Also, a new sentence has been added to call attention to the difference between lawyers who possess managerial authority comparable to that possessed by law-firm partners and who are subject to paragraph (a) and supervisory lawyers who must comply with paragraph (b).

[2] This new Comment provides examples of policies and procedures that partners and managing lawyers should have in place in order to comply with paragraph (a).

[3] Current Comment [2] has been modified so it refers exclusively to paragraph (a). Other minor changes reflect that the policies and procedures required by paragraph (a) may vary with the structure of a firm and the nature of its practice.

[4] Current Comment [3] has been modified to emphasize that paragraph (c), as distinct from paragraphs (a) and (b), specifies circumstances in which a lawyer will be held personally responsible for the specific misconduct of another lawyer.

[5] Current Comment [6] has been modified to clarify that paragraph (c)(2) applies to partners and lawyers with comparable managerial authority, as well as to supervising lawyers.

[8] This new Comment emphasizes that the extra duties imposed on partners, managing lawyers and supervisory lawyers by Rule 5.1 does not alter the basic duty of each lawyer in a firm to personally comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct. Although emphasis is added, no change in substance is intended.

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